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Centuries of Sound Membership: Support the project, and get a host of extra benefits for just $5 per month



Centuries of Sound is two years old now. I have made mixtapes / soundscapes for the years 1859 to 1909, plus 2016 and 2017. All of these will remain freely accessible without any advertising. But from the first of next month there will be a huge amount of other material available for anyone who becomes a member of Centuries of Sound on Patreon.

* Download our radio podcast, where we break up the sounds with discussion of the music and history of each year

* Be the first to hear new mixes, delivered to your inbox a week before public release

* Every three months get access to an exclusive compilation of artists and themes parallel to the main mix

* Access our archive of over 30 themed mixes

* Be listed as an expert in a chosen field of historical sound on our site

All of this can be yours for $5 per month, the price of a single large coffee, and cheaper than a single pint of beer in Cambridge.

As well as getting these rewards, you will be helping this site to survive. I run Centuries of Sound in my spare time, and have both a full-time job and a family to support, and need to get some kind of income both to cover costs and to prove that this is a worthwhile endeavor. In these two years I have received a lot of very nice coverage in the media, but none of it has yet paid a penny towards web hosting alone. I want to have mixes all the way from 1859* to the present day – together we can make that happen.

Just click this button to make these things happen.



*Actually I may push this back to 1843 now. How? Well, if I can make this pay, maybe I’ll have time to return to that.


yaroslav shuraev - aniva lighthouse, sakhalin, russia

MP3 (first 30 mins) | MP3 (full mix) | Itunes | Mixcloud | Feedburner (RSS)

So, were you expecting 1910? Well the bad news is that it’s going to be another month until that’s ready. The good news is that I have finally finished this mix for 2017. It has been a bit of a monster, or a menace, is 45 minutes over my supposed maximum running time of two hours, and contains around 150 sound samples, including the 76 tracks listed below.

How was 2017? It seems like a year of readjustment after the shocks of 2016. There is a lot going on in here, but I didn’t find that a single thread emerged this time. In a decade or so, when I get around to this year again, some of this will still seem worthwhile, some probably will not, we will just have to see.

One perhaps important thing also to note – there is a lot of rude language in this mix, and I mean a lot. I’m working on a family-friendly version, which should be out in a week or two.

The start of 2019 sees some changes at Centuries of Sound. The monthly mix will stay as it is, free to download, and without any advertisements, but there will be a variety of rewards available for anyone signing up to our Patreon. The page is up already, the rewards will start to become available in the next month. Your support can get me some half-decent microphones, proper hosting, and, most importantly, justify to my family the amount of time I spend making this thing. Our page is here.

And finally, of course, the tracklist:

Godspeed You Black Emperor! – Undoing a Luciferian Towers 0:00:00
Charlotte Gainsbourg – Deadly Valentine (Soulwax Remix) 0:01:16
Jeff Beal – House of Cards S05E03 Closing Titles 0:04:00
Danny Brown – Ain’t it Funny 0:05:27
Zimpel-Ziolek – Wrens 0:06:28
Superorganism – Something for Your M.I.N.D. 0:09:08
Big Shaq – Man’s Not Hot 0:10:57
Todd Terje – Jungelknugen (Four Tet Remix) 0:13:15
Kendrick Lamar – FEEL. 0:15:31
Blanck Mass – Hive Mind 0:18:57
Trio Da Kali & Kronos Quartet – Lila Bambo 0:21:50
The Horrors – Something To Remember Me By 0:25:13
Self Esteem – Your Wife 0:27:16
Roger Robinson – Welcome to Dog Heart City 0:29:11
Caroline Spence – Softball 0:31:16
Leif – July V 0:34:20
Cardi B – Bodak Yellow 0:37:49
Avelino (feat. Stormzy & Skepta) – Energy 0:39:05
Orbital – Copenhagen 0:40:26
Strobes – OK Please 0:42:25
Tom Zanetti featuring Sadie Ama – You Want Me 0:44:20
Justin Adams ft. Anneli Drecker – Wassoulou 0:45:34
Denzel Curry, Lil Ugly Mane – Zeltron 6 Billion 0:47:18
CCFX – The One to Wait 0:48:50
Kero Kero Bonito – Rock & Roll Star 0:52:20
Yaeji – Raingurl 0:55:15
Nite Jewel – 2 Good 2 Be True 0:58:01
Colin Stetson – Spindrift 0:59:48
Vince Staples – Crabs in a Bucket 1:01:40
Tove Lo – Disco Tits 1:03:32
Special Request – Stairfoot Lane Bunker (Minor Science Remix) 1:05:22
Baxter Dury – Porcelain 1:08:03
Antwood – Disable Ad Blocker / Sublingual 1:09:30
Chino Amobi – Eigengrau (Children of Hell II) 1:11:06
Hammock – When The Body Breaks 1:12:17
James Holden & The Animal Spirits – Thunder Moon Gathering 1:14:22
The Jungle Giants – Bad Dream 1:16:31
Rose Elinor Dougall – Stellular 1:18:08
Grace Mitchell – Now 1:20:15
Lindstrøm – Tensions 1:21:30
The Seven Fields of Aphelion – Drift (Losing Light) 1:22:57
Young Fathers – Only God Knows 1:23:30
Bjork – Arisen My Senses 1:25:53
clipping. – The Deep 1:28:23
Kelly Lee Owens – Anxi 1:30:22
Photay – Off-Piste 1:32:22
Lost Souls of Saturn vs. Mashrou’ Leila – Bint El Khandaq 1:34:43
Alessandro Cortini – Vincere 1:36:36
Nilüfer Yanya – Baby Luv 1:39:07
Kesha ft. The Dap-Kings Horns – Woman 1:41:42
KIASMOS – Blurred 1:44:03
Oliver – Chemicals (feat. MNDR) 1:46:27
Lingua Ignota – Woe to All (On the Day of My Wrath) 1:48:09
Jlin – Kyanite 1:49:32
Migos – T-Shirt 1:51:16
Ghostpoet – Freakshow 1:53:44
Meridian Brothers – Yo Soy Tu Padre, Yo Te Fabrique 1:55:33
Lanark Artefax – Touch Absence 1:57:49
Aldous Harding – Imagining My Man 2:01:06
Moses Sumney – Doomed 2:04:11
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – Who I Am And Why I Am Where I Am 2:05:59
Lorde – Green Light 2:07:49
Visible Cloaks – Screen 2:10:18
Ibibio Sound Machine – Give Me a Reason 2:11:45
Mondo Grosso – Labyrinth 2:13:50
Bing & Ruth – Starwood Choker 2:15:55
Brian Eno & Kevin Shields – Only Once Away My Son 2:17:53
Rapsody feat. Lance Skiiiwalker – Power 2:20:00
Susanne Sundf›r – The Sound of War 2:23:13
SZA – Supermodel 2:25:57
Sinkane – U’Huh 2:27:55
Bicep – Glue 2:29:46
Leif Vollebekk – Elegy 2:33:36
Tornado Wallace – Voices 2:36:45
Ryuichi Sakamoto – Life, Life 2:39:27
Pippa Murphy – Small Consolation 2:40:35

Centuries of Sound on Cambridge 105 Radio – Episode 5 (1894-1895)


James and Sean continue their voyage into the distant history of sound recording. This time we cover the years 1894 and 1895, a time of popular unrest, great literature, and a burgeoning wax cylinder market, with at least two songs bound to be familiar to listeners in 2018. Also, as ever, plenty of Americans with moustaches, middle initials and banjos.


1909 in Art

zinaida serebriakova – at the dressing-table self-portrait

Zinaida Serebriakova – At the Dressing-Table: Self-portrait

Euphemia 1909 by Ambrose McEvoy 1878-1927

Ambrose McEvoy – Euphemia

anna archer - the artist's mother ane hedvig brøndum in the blue room

Anna Archer – The Artist’s Mother Ane Hedvig Brøndum in the Blue Room

henri matisse – the conversation

Henri Matisse – The Conversation

giacomo balla – street light

Giacomo Balla – Street Light

george bellows - blue morning

George Bellows – Blue Morning

pablo picasso - brick factory at tortosa

Pablo Picasso – Brick Factory at Tortosa

henri rousseau - the banks of the bièvre near bicêtre

Henri Rousseau – The Banks of the Bièvre near Bicêtre

boris kustodiev - promenade along the volga ii

Boris Kustodiev – Promenade Along The Volga II

béla iványi-grünwald - gypsy girls by the banks of lápos

Béla Iványi-Grünwald – Gypsy Girls by the Banks of Lápos

pierre-auguste renoir - bather wiping a wound

Pierre-Auguste Renoir – Bather Wiping a Wound

félix vallotton - baigneuse penchée à droite

Félix Vallotton – Baigneuse penchée à droite

joaquin sorolla - paseo a la orillas del mar

Joaquin Sorolla – Paseo a la orillas del mar

howard pyle – marooned

Howard Pyle – Marooned

1909 in Film

smoke fairy

Princess Nicotine; or, The Smoke Fairy

Les Joyeux microbes

A Trap For Santa

Le Locataire diabolique

The Sealed Room

The Cowboy Millionaire

Teddy Roosevelt in Africa

Fools of Fate

La Papillon Fantastique

Mr Flip

The Red Man’s View

The Airship Destroyer

The Hessian Renegades

Oliver Twist

The Doctor’s Secret

The Golden Louis

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Entrevista de los Presidentes Díaz-Taft

A Corner in Wheat


Boxing Day Special Review of 2018


Day: Wednesday 26th December 2018
Time: 9pm GMT
Place: 105fm in Cambridge, on Digital Radio, Smart TVs and radio apps, or online at

In this special festive episode of Centuries of Sound, James and Sean take a break from the era of wax cylinders and marching bands to review some of the (perhaps) more sophisticated sounds of 2018, and discover some surprising parallels between the gilded age and today.

Ida B Wells & Sophia Duleep Singh

Ida B Wells & Sophia Duleep Singh

The true pioneering heroes of the Edwardian Era were not The Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison or Henry Ford. This supposedly tranquil time was in truth the most turbulent age of social activism between the Civil War and the 1960s, and naturally the real drivers of this new “Progressive” age were less likely to be old, white or male than the usual famous names of the age.

Sophia Duleep Singh was born a princess, the daughter of Maharajah Duleep Singh, the last Indian prince in the Sikh Empire. Goddaughter to Queen Victoria, she was raised in luxury in England, but as an adult grew to realise that her sheltered upbringing had hidden from her a world of opression, and on a visit back to India she realised what had been done to her homeland. Returning to live in her own house in England in 1909, she joined the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) demonstration alongside Emmeline Pankhurst, where more than 150 women were assaulted. In 1911, on the day of the King’s Speech to Parliament, she launched herself in front of Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith’s car and pulled out a ‘Give Votes to Women’ banner from her fur muff. In the 1910s she refused to pay her taxes, saying “If I am not a fit person for the purposes of representation, why should I be a fit person for taxation?” – but with her royal connections, the police were too scared to arrest her. Here she is pictured selling a suffragette newspaper outside Hampton Court Palace.

Ida B. Wells was a prominent journalist, activist, and researcher, born into slavery during the Civil War, then orphaned by a yellow fever outbreak at the age of 16, forcing her to become a teacher to support her siblings. In 1884, she filed a lawsuit against a train car company in Memphis after having been thrown off a first-class train, despite having a ticket. After the lynching of one of her friends, she started publishing anti-lynching pamphlets and writing for newspapers, until one exposé led to her office being burned down. Driven out of Memphis, Wells began traveling internationally to tell the world about lynching, and confronting women’s suffrage organisations who refused to take the issue seriously. She was a founder of the National Association of Colored Women’s Club, and was there at the founding of the NAACP in 1909.

Here is a history podcast about Ida B Wells, and here is another about Sophia Duleep Singh.


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